Hundreds of women took the plunge in sequins and flower caps to celebrate International Women’s Day and demand an end to "sewage pollution".

The huge gathering of swimmers in Madeira Drive, Brighton, on Saturday was organised by Brighton blogger and serial fundraiser Nicky Chisholm.

The mum-of-two wanted to gather as many of The South Coast Sea Swimmers in one place at one time for a photo to celebrate women across the world and to raise awareness and funds for charity partner Surfers Against Sewage.

The Argus: Hundreds of women went into the seaHundreds of women went into the sea (Image: Beth Wild Photography)

This year’s event saw 500 women take part, smashing last year’s total of 250.

Charlotte Daniels, 47, from Hastings, was there with fellow members of The Bluetits Chill Swimmers Louise Clarkson, Bev Quinn and Joanna Coleman.

“I came for the first time last year and I loved it so much,” she said.

“It’s fantastic, empowering and fun and you make lifelong friends.”

Louise discovered a love for swimming after she worked in ITU during the Covid pandemic.

“I found this was something that really helped me calm my mind,” she said.

“You’re just surrounded by women who empower you. It’s lovely.”

The Argus: There was much laughter at the eventThere was much laughter at the event (Image: Beth Wild Photography)

The 48-year-old said sewage was of huge concern to sea swimmers in the area and it was important to raise awareness of the work Surfers Against Sewage does.

“A lot of our members are taking part in water testing in Hastings,” she said.

“You’ve got to check your apps to make sure no sewage has been dumped and you can actually swim.

“It’s very wrong, you wouldn’t dump all your sewage on the roads so what makes seas and rivers different?”

Bev, 62, said she feels younger after swimming in the sea.

“I go in with trepidation as a concerned 60 something and I come out like a five-year-old just full of joy and happiness,” she said.

“It’s the most amazing experience.”

The Argus: The swim was a celebration of womenThe swim was a celebration of women (Image: Beth Wild Photography)

Joanna, who celebrated her 60th birthday the day after the swim, said she “felt like a teenager” swimming.

Nicky, whose blog PinkNicky’s is dedicated to “empowering women, empty nesters and adventurous souls”, said the event was a “huge success”.

“It was a fun sparkly spectacle on Brighton Beach, women sharing stories, united by their love of the sea and we are so pleased to have Surfers Against Sewage as our charity partner,” she said.